Simoniz (pronounced Simon eyes) is an American manufacturer of automobile cleaning and detailing products.
Simoniz USA was formed as a result of a purchase by Syndet Products, Inc. of the Simoniz brand name in 1997 from First Brands Corp. Syndet, at the time, was a 25-year old manufacturer of hard surface detergents, cleaners and waxes, serving the automotive, institutional and industrial marketplace. Simoniz was already a part of consumer-product and advertising history and lore.
It was in 1910, when the motor car was still somewhat of an oddity affordable only by the wealthy, that the Simoniz Company came into being. Its formation was made possible by George Simons, who developed a cleaner and a carnauba wax product for car finishes. Along with Elmer Rich of the Great Northern Railway, the two organized the Simons Manufacturing Company. The firm's products were named Simons Cleaner and Simons Paste Wax.
In 1912, Mr. Rich and his brother, R.J. Rich, acquired full ownership. They changed the name of the firm to Simoniz Company and located the first office and backroom factory at 2121 Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
A believer in the power of advertising, Mr. Rich created what was to become one of the world's best-known slogans: "Motorists Wise, Simoniz." When radio attained prominence, Simoniz was quick to take advantage of the novel opportunities afforded by the new medium, and, "Motorists Wise, Simoniz," was popularized by continuous radio broadcast advertising.
It was during 1957 that Vista One-Step Cleaner/Wax entered the market. Combining a cleaner and wax in one product, Vista made it possible for car owners to get in a single step the unequalled benefits of both Simoniz Kleener and Simoniz Wax. Virtually overnight, Vista exploded to the top among all car-care products.
During the war, Simoniz recognized the potential market in household products and entered into the floor wax field in 1942. The year 1959 marked the introduction of Tone, the aerosol spray wax that helped triple sales of furniture polishes in a period of just three years. Additional products were added through the years such as Plumite Drain Cleaner, the Sta-Soft Sponge (the only synthetic non-hardening sponge), and Reddi Starch spray starch.
Non-Scuff Floor Wax revolutionized the market for household floor wax in 1953, but was succeeded by Vinylwax in 1957. Consumer Reports reported to its readers that Vinylwax was from all standpoints the most acceptable brand. Simoniz once again pioneered a new type of floor care product with the introduction Vista One-Step Cleaner/Wax.
In 1965, Morton International purchased the controlling interest in Simoniz Company adding Master Wax-Detergent Proof and Smooth-Pre Softened products to the line. In 1969, the now parent company of Simoniz, Morton International merged with the Norwich Pharmaceutical Company and became known as MorNor. Norwich owned the chemical products company, Texize Corporation, which manufactured the popular products K2R Spot Remover and Janitor in a Drum. The Simoniz administrative and marketing functions which were located on South Wacker Drive in Chicago, Illinois were moved to the Texize headquarters in Greenville South Carolina and all but one or two of its headquarters personnel were terminated. The Simoniz Research and Development group in Northwest Chicago and the manufacturing facility on the south side of Chicago were retained. In 1976, Simoniz was acquired by Union Carbide.
In 1986, as part of the divestiture of Union Carbide, a management lead LBO called First Brands Corp. was formed and Simoniz was among the brands purchased. In 1988, First Brands entered into a license agreement with Syndet Products, Inc. to manufacture and distribute on-line Simoniz brand products nationally to the car wash industry, which eventually expanded to include detail shop and janitorial/sanitation (jansan) cleaning products.
In 1997, Syndet Products purchased the Simoniz brand from First Brands Corp., and renamed the company Simoniz USA, Inc. Shortly after the purchase; Simoniz USA launched its first "direct response" marketing product called Simoniz Scratch Remover for furniture. The program was highly successful and was placed at most major mass retailers and drug chains, including Kmart, Walmart, Target stores and Eckard Drug, to name just a few.
In the years 2000 & 2001, spurred by the successful launch of the Simoniz Detailer's Brushless Carwash, Simoniz produced over one billion consumer impressions, and reestablished the brand as an innovative market leader.
The trademark went though some amount of trademark dilution due to its use by a number of automobile dealers for processes using other brands of car wax, car polish, or paint sealer.
The current holders of the Simoniz trademark use it to sell Liquid Diamond, a home-use spray-on car polish.
As a sponsor
It is also featured in the 1983 film A Christmas Story as a Christmas gift.